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ISSN 0147-6882, Scientific and Technical Information Processing, 2014, Vol. 41, No. 4, pp. 233246. Allerton Press, Inc., 2014. Original
Russian Text I.M. Zatsman, 2014, published in Nauchno-Technicheskaya Informatsiya, Seriya I, 2014, No. 11, pp. 115.

A Table of Interfaces of Informatics as Computer and


Information Science
I. M. Zatsman
Institute of Informatics Problems, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
e-mail: izatsman@yandex.ru Received August 4, 2014
AbstractThis paper discusses the development of the approaches of S. Gorn and Yu. Shreider on the
integration of computer and information sciences in order to form informatics as a conceptual unified
computer and information branch or a group of branches of science. The purpose of the integration is to
make informatics a theoretical foundation for the development of new information and communication and
converging technologies, as well as for prediction of capabilities of their future generations. In this paper, we
construct a table of the interfaces of informatics as a computer and information science for the productive
implementation of the predictive function. By definition, the diagonal cells of the table describe domain
objects of informatics, while the remainder of the cells are used for interfaces between objects. The table
contains cells for the already known interfaces, such as the ones that are inherent to human-computer
interactions. There are empty or partially filled cells for theoretically possible but thus-far unstudied objects
and interfaces of both informatics and other branches of science that use information and communication
technologies.
Keywords: table of interface of informatics, information science, computer science, informatics as computer
and information branch of science, informatics paradigm, information and communication technologies,
converging technologies
DOI: 10.3103/S014768821404008X
INTRODUCTION
In this paper, the terms informatics, computer and
information branch of science, and computer and
information science (CIS) are synonymous, as their scopes
coincide. The main idea of this paper is to justify the need
and the possibility of constructing a paradigm of
informatics that integrates information science [13] and
computer science [4, 5], in order to not only explain
existing information and communication technologies
(ICT), which we already use or design, but also to help
predict the emergence of next generation technologies.
At the beginning of the 21st century, a fundamental
reconsideration of the theoretical foundations of the ICT
development became one of the key prerequisites for
establishing informatics as a computer and information
science [6, 7]. A comparison of purposes and experience of
training of ICT specialists that was conducted by Marc Snir
showed that the theoretical basis of training programs of
such specialists should integrate information and computer
sciences [8].
In the second half of 20th century, the need for their
integration was foreseen by Saul Gorn [912] and Yuli
Shreider [13]. In [6, 7], one possible informatics paradigm
was proposed based on the development of the ideas of
Gorn and Shreider. Obviously, other options for
constructing an integrated paradigm of informatics can be
proposed. The development and comparative analysis of its
different options can be considered as a modern stage of the
formation of informatics as a computer and information
science.

The paradigm proposed in this paper is in the early


stage of development and it is not intended to be definitive.
Previous results of the construction of this paradigm (let us
denote them as the first stage of its development) include
[6, 7, 1416]
(1) The principle of adding media and objects to the
domain of informatics that are separated out from the
material sphere of objects and phenomena.
(2) The definition of at least two classes of onenatured entities in each medium, as well as two-natured
entities at the boundaries between media.
(3) The formulation of the hermeticity axiom of each
medium of informatics regarding its one-natured entities.
In the first stage of development of the paradigm of
informatics from the material sphere of objects and
phenomena, the author separated out the digital medium,
which was added to mental and socio-communicative
media that are traditional for information science [17].
After this, the domain of informatics as CIS has grown to
include three media, in each of which the definitions of two
classes of one-natured entities were given (their names are
listed in parentheses) [18]
(1) Mental medium (human knowledge and mental
representations of data).
(2) Socio-communicative
medium
(semantic
information as a detached form of representation of
human knowledge and data that are perceived by human
senses).
(3) Digital medium, electronic and/or optical (digital
information and digital data).

ZATSMAN

Table 1. Table of interfaces for objects of three media of the informatics domain
i = 1, 2, 3 rows,
j = 1, 2, 3 columns
1

Mental medium (mental


representations of data,
concepts of human knowledge)

Mental representations of data


sense-perceived data,
concepts semantic
information (semiotic sign)

Mental representations of data


digital data,
concepts digital
information (semcode)

Sense-perceived data
mental representations of data, Socio-communicative medium
semantic information
(sense-perceived data, semantic
concepts (semiotic sign)
information)

Sense-perceived data
digital data,
semantic information
digital information (formcode)

Digital data mental


representations of data,
digital information
concepts (semcode)

Digital data sense-perceived


data,
digital information semantic
information (formcode)

The division of one-natured entities in each medium


into two classes is based on the following dichotomy of
sources of their generation [19]
(1) Humans as generators of semantic (sign)
information, which corresponds to digital information in
the computer.
(2) The material sphere as a source of data that are
perceived by human senses, as well as engineering systems
as digital data generators.
In [18, 20], classes of objects of the informatics domain
are listed in parentheses after the names of the three media
that are divided into subclasses, which include explicit and
implicit knowledge, personal, collective and conventional
concepts of human knowledge, categories of computer
codes of concepts, and forms of presentation of explicit
knowledge. In addition to the identification of one-natured
entities, definitions of two new boundary two-natured
entities were given that provide interfaces between onenatured entities of different media: formcodes and
semcodes.
At the same time, it was shown that as a rule the
interface between the concepts and semantic information is
provided by conventional semiotic signs, the definition of
which is borrowed from semiotics; however, in the
informatics personal and collective signs as defined in [21]
are additionally used to formulate and solve problems of
new knowledge creation.
In the integrated paradigm, the material sphere is
considered only as a source of sensory data perceived by
humans or in the context of the semantic interpretation of its
objects and phenomena, in the process of which concepts as
parts of human knowledge that are related to the mental
medium are generated. The paradigm proposed in [6, 7]
postulates the possibility of the generation of concepts not
only based on the interpretation of material objects and
phenomena but also based on objects of any of the three
listed media.

Digital medium (digital data,


digital information)

It has been shown experimentally [22] that the objects of


the digital medium, namely time-varying computer programs
and data processed by them, can be a source of new human
knowledge. Currently, a series of similar experiments are
being conducted in which objects of the sociocommunicative medium and time-varying parts of parallel
texts in French and Russian in particular are sources of new
concepts [23, 24].
An essential feature of the considered paradigm is that
each of the three media is presented as a closed one, i.e., its
one-natured entities of both classes can not cross the
boundary of the medium and there are no objects that belong
simultaneously to two or more media. This feature of the
paradigm has been formulated in the form of the hermeticity
axiom of informatics media [7]. To paraphrase a figurative
expression of Shreider [13, pp. 5051], we can say that the
boundaries between media are the abyss that separates
their one-natured entities (semantic information, knowledge,
digital information, etc.).
In the future use is expected of the hermeticity axiom as a
correctness criterion of the separation of each new medium
from the material sphere of objects and phenomena starting
with the digital one. Namely, each new medium should be
closed with respect to one-natured entities of all classes
defined in it.
In [20, p. 128], a two-dimensional version of the
interface table (Table 1) was constructed for the three listed
media and their one-natured entities, as well as for twonatured entities1.
1

Table 1 differs from its initial version in [20]. In particular, in the


initial version the diagonal cells contained only the names of the onenatured entities of the only class of the medium without specifying its
name and the remainder of its cells contained the names of two-natured
entities at the boundaries without names for interfaces.

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A TABLE OF INTERFACES OF INFORMATICS AS COMPUTER AND INFORMATION SCIENCE

Table 2. Disciplines, names of which contain words informatics, computer, or information


Code

Branch of science, group of disciplines, discipline

03.01.09

Mathematical biology, bioinformatics

05.01.01

Engineering Geometry and Computer Graphics

05.13.00

Informatics, Computer Engineering, and Control

05.13.01

System Analysis, Control and Information Processing Technical


(by branches)
Physico-mathematical
Technical
Mathematical and Software Support of Computing
Machines, Complexes, and Computer Networks
Physico-mathematical
Technical
Computing Machines, Systems, and Computer
Networks
Physico-mathematical
Theoretical Foundations of Informatics
Technical

05.13.11
05.13.15
05.13.17

Physico-mathematical
Biological
Medical
Technical

05.13.19

Methods and Systems for Information Protection,


Information Security

05.13.20

Quantum Information Processing Methods

05.25.00

Documentary Information
Geoinformatics

25.00.35

Diagonal cells (i, j) for i = j are used for the names of


media and one-natured entities of each medium and
nondiagonal cells contain the names of the interfaces
between one-natured entities, as well as the names of twonatured entities defined in [1416, 18, 20, 21, 25]2. Note
that two-natured entities are determined for only one of the
two interfaces of each of nondiagonal cells.
In general, the interfaces in cells (i, j) that are
symmetrical relative to the diagonal with i j differ among
themselves in [25], i.e., in the given context Table 1 is not
symmetrical and therefore the interface names in
symmetrical cells differ in the order of words.
In the first stage of construction of the paradigm of
informatics three media were considered, while at the same
time it was shown that there are examples of ICT that
simultaneously cover entities of four or more media. For
example, in the problems of neuroinformatics, in the general
2

Branch of science in which the degree is awarded

In these studies, the following two-natured entities were defined:


formcode, semcode, and personal and collective semiotic signs. At the
same time, in Table 1 the term semiotic sign is used, which is generic
(hyperonym) for traditional (conventional), personal, and collective
semiotic signs.

Physico-mathematical
Philological
Technical
Physico-mathematical
Technical
Physico-mathematical
Geological-mineralogical
Geographic
Technical
Physico-mathematical

case, it is necessary to consider entities of four media, i.e.,


mental,
socio-communicative,
and
digital
and
neurophysiological
or
neurobiological
(hereinafter,
neuromedium). Accordingly, the number of types of
boundary two-natured entities belonging to the boundaries
between these media is expanded [6, 7].
Future-generation information and communication
technologies will be able to cover one-natured entities of a
larger number of media than four. At the same time, the
maximum number of media is not known in advance.
Therefore, in this paper we propose a development of the
informatics paradigm that does not fix the number of its
domain media but provides for an increase in their numbers.
The main purpose of this paper is to construct a table of
interfaces for N media as a generalization of its version for
the three media given in [20], which is the main result of the
second stage of the development of the informatics paradigm
we proposed.
ON THE NEED TO REVIEW THE FOUNDATIONS FOR
THE DEVELOPMENT OF INFORMATION AND
COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES

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ZATSMAN

If we consider the list of disciplines [26], their names


with the words informatics, computer, or information are
distributed not only in different groups of disciplines but also
in different branches of science. Table 2 lists only those
disciplines in which these three words are given explicitly
rather than only assumed.
Disciplines listed in Table 2 are divided into three
branches of science by their codes: biological (03.01.09),
technical (05.XX.XX) and Earth sciences (25.00.35).
In the group of disciplines of Documentary Information,
an academic degree is awarded in four branches of science:
historical, pedagogical, philological, and technical. Another
five branches of science are used to award a degree for the
remainder of the disciplines from Table 2: Geologicalmineralogical, Geographical, Physico-mathematical, as well
as Biological and Medical.
In order to form informatics as a conceptually unified
computer and information branch of science, a new approach
is required that will integrate disciplines from Table 2. At the
same time, a common theoretical foundation is necessary for
the disciplines that are currently not given in the
nomenclature, such as neuro- and DNA informatics,
cognitive, social, and medical informatics, and other
disciplines of informatics as CIS.
A version of the formation of a new unified science
based on the ideas of Gorn and Shreider was proposed in [6,
7]. These ideas were first formulated more than 50 years ago
[9] and are now becoming more popular3. Why?
The answer to this question was suggested by Marc Snir,
who published a paper in 2011; in its name he used the
phrase computer and information science and engineering.
Snir argued, the rapid evolution of IT motivates a periodic
reexamination and reorganization of computing and
information research and education in academia. We seem to
be in one such period. <...> In the early days of computing,
few people interacted directly with computers: these few
people would adapt to the computer. Today, the situation is
vastly changed: billions of people interact daily with digital
devices and C&I systems have become intimately involved
in many cognitive and social processes. It is not possible to
ignore the human in the loop. Indeed, interesting research
increasingly occurs at the intersection of the social and the
technical [8].
Snirs answer creates two new questions. First, when was
the previous stage of reexamination of development bases of
ICT held, and how was it motivated? Secondly, why were
Gorns and Shreiders ideas not implemented at that stage?
The answer to the first question can be found in the
works of P. Denning, G. Rozenberg, and L. Kari, in which
the history and evolution of the computer science were
analyzed [2730]. About 20 years ago it was regenerated,
since the development of many branches of natural science
became determined not only by new theories and
experimentation for each branch but also by the development
and application of ICT in these branches. Then the role of
information and communication technologies changed
3

April 2013 marked 50 years since the paper by Gorn The Computer
and Information Sciences: a New Basic Discipline was published [9].

fundamentally in the process of acquiring new knowledge.


They were increasingly used not only for the computing and
storing and processing of data but also for the simulation of
various processes and phenomena in a wide range of natural
science branches.
According to P. Denning, computing is not only a tool
for science, but also a new method of thought and discovery
in science. <...> Two external factors - the rise of
computational science and the discovery of natural
information processes - have spawned a science renaissance
in computing. <> Computings original focal phenomenon
was information processes generated by hardware and
software. As computing discovered more and more natural
information processes, the focus broadened to include
"natural computation" [29]. We can now say computing is
the study of information processes, artificial and natural
[27]. Computing is not alone in dealing with both natural and
artificial processes. Biologists, for example, study artifacts
including computational models of DNA translation, the
design of organic memories, and genetically modified
organisms [30].
According to G. Rozenberg, we will have to redefine the
concept of computation, which must also be able to
accommodate information processing that takes place in
nature. <...> As a matter of fact, research in natural
computing led already to a reexamination of the
axioms/paradigms underlying traditional notions of
computation [28].
As Denning, who wrote about the reexamination of the
computation concept, in discussion of traditional computing
paradigms Rozenberg proceeded from the fact that earlier
information processes related only to computing systems
were the central object of study of computer science [31].
Thus, the previous stage of the revision of the computing
concept and ICT development bases was caused by an
experimental study of a wider range of information
processes and phenomena that were observed in both nature
and computer systems. This revision took place mainly
within computer science. The information approach was
used and computer models were constructed in order to
study objects of domains of natural sciences. As a result,
computer science significantly extended its domain [32].
If earlier there were incentives for the integration of
information and computer sciences, they were not
sufficiently significant to implement the ideas of Gorn and
Shreider in one form or another. However, currently
information and communication technologies are so closely
involved in many cognitive, economic, and social processes
that they have become an integral part of humanitarian
studies and this involvement cannot be ignored in the
creation of ICT and training of specialists in their
development. According to Snir, now is the time for the next
revision of theoretical foundations of the development and
application of ICT. Therefore, it is necessary to review
education programs as well. He lists a number of universities
in the United States and other countries that have already
gone down this path [8].

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A TABLE OF INTERFACES OF INFORMATICS AS COMPUTER AND INFORMATION SCIENCE

There are different options for the revision of theoretical


foundations. In this paper, a table of interfaces (TI) for N
media is presented, which is the conceptual core of the
proposed revision option.
NEUROMEDIUM AND TABLE OF INTERFACES FOR
FOUR MEDIA OF INFORMATICS
As noted in the Introduction, the results of the first stage
of the construction of an integrated paradigm of informatics
include the separation of the digital medium (optical and/or
electronic) from the material sphere of objects and
phenomena, definition of classes of one-natured entities in
three media, interfaces, and two-natured entities at the
boundaries between them, and formulation of the hermeticity
axiom of media of the computer and information science.
The paradigm proposed in this paper was originally used for
the simulation of the traditional two-stage presentation of the
concepts of human knowledge in the form of computer
codes.
The first stage of knowledge representation refers to the
boundary between the mental and socio-communicative
media, which is indicated by the dashed line in Fig. 1. For
concepts and semantic information as sign forms of their
representation, this boundary is impermeable. Semiotic signs
as two-natured entities belong to this boundary. Because of
the boundary impermeability there is a need for the
associative correlation of concepts of human knowledge with
the forms of their representation using semiotic sign systems,
including language systems.
The second stage of knowledge representation refers to
the boundary between the socio-communicative and digital
media, which is indicated by the dasheddotted line in Fig.
1. This boundary is also impermeable to semantic and digital
information. Tables of computer coding of characters are
used for the representation of verbal texts and symbols in the
digital medium at this boundary. These tables belong to the
boundary between the socio-communicative and digital
media. For verbalized knowledge, the successive use, first,
of language sign systems in the process of generation of
texts and then of computer coding tables is a common way to
represent human knowledge and its constituent concepts in
the digital medium.
Note that objects, processes, and phenomena of the
socio-communicative medium, as well as on its boundary
with the mental medium, are traditionally referred to
information science, while the digital medium and its
boundary with the socio-communicative medium are
assigned to the domain of computer science.
Figure 1 shows one-natured entities of three classes: the
concept of human knowledge, the object name as a special
case of semantic information and digital information in the
form of three computer codes (semantic (C1), information
(C2), and object (C3)).
Three two-natured entities are also shown (semiotic sign,
formcode, and semcode). A detailed description of this
figure including the definition of the three categories of

computer codes was given in [15, 25].


In 2003, the first results of the construction of the
informatics paradigm were applied to the development of a
method for conceptual searches in digital libraries of
geoobjects that are described in verbal texts and/or
represented in raster images. Estuarine areas of the rivers
were used as an example of a geoobject. The search request
could be formulated by words and/or images (pictograms). It
was necessary to propose a method of searching so that the
user could use verbal and/or visual forms of representation
of the search query [25].
Chronologically, this particular problem was set at the
beginning, but then in the course of its solution the necessity
of studying the foundations for informatics emerged,
because the search query could contain pictograms or words,
and it was not known in advance. In order to correctly
formulate this problem and propose a method to solve it, the
following new terms were introduced: formcode as a
universal means of coding of pictograms and words, as well
as semcode as a means of coding of concepts of geoobjects
at the boundary between the mental and digital media that
can be presented in the form of pictograms and/or words in
the socio-communicative medium.
This became possible due to the fact that the concept of
formcode united the tabular method of character-oriented
coding of words in verbal texts and the coding method of
pictograms as forms of concept representation. The term
semcode was introduced to encode concepts as the semantic
content of words and pictograms. Thus, one category of
computer codes was used for words and pictograms and
another category was used to encode their meaning and the
third is used for coding of geoobjects that are described
(depicted) by them.
Then, in addition to the Frege semiotic triangle (in Fig.
1 it is denoted by the Roman numeral I), the concept of the
digital semiotic triangle was introduced. It combines three
different code categories (in Fig. 1 it is designated by II):
the code of the geoobject name, code of its concept, and
code of the geoobject itself.
As a result, a method for the coding of geoobjects with
simultaneous use of three computer codes of different
categories was proposed. This coding method became the
basis for the development of the method of searching using
queries whose modality is not known in advance: verbal,
visual in the form of pictograms, or verbally visual. The
coding method based on formcodes and semcodes made it
possible to receive a response from a digital library in the
form of a text describing geoobjects and/or in the form of
raster maps with their images for the request made in
modality unknown in advance.
The need for further development of the informatics
paradigm with the domain that includes three media
(mental, socio-communicative, and digital) was especially
brought out when ICT for the processing of biopotential
signals of neuromedium became widely used. There was a
need for the explication of their relationships with onenatured entities of the mental, socio-communicative, and
digital media.

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ZATSMAN

Fig. 1. Material sphere of objects and phenomena, three media, one-natured entities, and boundary
two-natured entities (sign, formcode, and semcode) [15].
For example, let us describe five projects that are
supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research
(RFBR) and the Russian Science Foundation (RScF),
which illustrate the need for the paradigm expansion with
respect to media and explication of these relationships.
In March 2011, the RFBR held a competition of goaloriented basic research on 23 cross-disciplinary themes,
including the theme Fundamentals of Converging
Technologies [33]. The latter theme received a little more
than 40 applications, of which almost half received grants
for projects, including the following two [34]
(1) A study of rhythmic codes of mental activities and
the creation of human cognitive space and a high-level braincomputer interface on this basis (development of the
technology determining the type of mental action by the
electroencephalogram, the distribution of brain rhythms for
certain types of thinking: spatial, imaginative, verbal logic,
and mixed forms, quantitative evaluation of the distance
between the different types of thinking with the definition of
their coordinates on a model of the cognitive space).
(2) Research and development of neuromorphic means
and complex anthropomorphic technical systems (models of
perception and accumulation of knowledge about the
medium and behavior by learning in real time).
The names and brief abstracts make it possible to get a
first glimpse of the problems of these projects. They concern
the complementarity of neuro- and cognitive technologies
and their integration with the ICT. As part of the RFBR

competition, the convergence of technologies of different


types is a factor in the formation of a new technological
foundation of civilization based on the reproduction of
systems and processes of nature in the form of technical
systems and processes [33, 34] including those in the form of
computer and information systems and technologies.
In FebruaryMarch 2014 RScF held its first
competition in nine branches of knowledge. In May, a list of
names of the winning projects was released including the
following [35]
(1) The theory of information processes in the brain: a
neural network mathematical model of signaling,
information processing, and intellectual and cognitive
functions.
(2) The technology of the optimization and recovery of
human cognitive functions using a virtual medium.
(3) The development of functional prototypes of
electronic synapses and construction of a neuromorphic
computing system on their basis.
The names of these five projects that are supported by
the RFBR and RScF illustrate the cross-disciplinary
integration of different branches of science [36], including
those focused on the development of ICT and other
converging technologies that encompass neuromedium
entities, which, in particular, was a key factor in the
development of cognitive informatics [3740], whose
domain includes topical issues at the intersection of
cognitive, computer, and information sciences. These

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Table 3. Table of interfaces for four media of informatics including neuromedium

i = 1, 2, 3, 4
rows,
j = 1, 2, 3, 4
columns

Mental medium (mental


representations of data,
concepts of human
knowledge)

Mental representations of
Mental representations of
data sense-perceived
data digital data,
data,
concepts digital
concepts semantic
information (semcode)
information (semiotic sign)

Mental representations
of data
neurodata,
concepts
neuroinformation
(neuroseme)

Sense-perceived data
Sense-perceived data Sense-perceived data
mental representations of
Socio-communicative
digital data,
neurodata,
medium (sense-perceived semantic information semantic information
data,
semantic information data, semantic information)
digital information
neuroinformation
concepts (semiotic sign)
(formcode)
(neuroalpha)

Digital data mental


representations of data,
digital information
concepts (semcode)

Digital data senseperceived data,


digital information
semantic information
(formcode)

Neurodata mental
representations of data,
neuroinformation
concepts (neuroseme)

Neurodata senseperceived data,


neuroinformation
semantic information
(neuroalpha)

problems can be attributed to the domain of informatics as


CIS if we add the neuromedium to the previously discussed
three media by separating it out from the material sphere of
objects and phenomena.
In order to create the interface table for these four media,
it is necessary to somehow identify one-natured entities of
the neuromedium, for which presently there is no generally
accepted notation in informatics. The issue of borrowing the
notation from cognitive neuroscience currently remains
open. Let us consider two ways to refer to neuromedium
objects. In the first case, one-natured entities are indicated
indirectly, for example, by the word brain in brain-computer
or brain-mind interfaces. This method replaces one-natured
entities with relevant organs (brain) or devices (computer),
but at the same time it does not reflect the division of onenatured entities into classes within the medium lexically.
In the second case, several provisional names are used,
for example in Table 3 the words neurodata and
neuroinformation are used along with the established terms
knowledge, semantic information, digital data, etc. The
second method does not substitute one-natured entities with
relevant organs or devices and reflects the division of onenatured entities into two classes. In Table 3, two-natured
entities at neuromedium boundaries in the cells (4, j) for j =
1, 2, 3, and (i, 4) for i = 1, 2, 3 are denoted by the words
neuroseme, neuroalpha, and neurocode (see also Fig. 2,
which shows objects of the only class for each medium:

Digital data
neurodata,
Digital medium (digital
digital information
data, digital information) neuroinformation
(neurocode)
Neurodata digital
data,
neuroinformation
digital information
(neurocode)

Neuromedium
(neurodata,
neuroinformation)

concept, object name, neuroinformation, and digital


information in the form of computer codes C1C4).
We will use these provisional names, until the same
conventional terms are used in informatics as in
neuroscience and cognitive science [4143], including the
notation of classes of one-natured entities of the
neuromedium and two-natured entities on its boundaries.
The reverse process, where some informatics terms become
common in neuroscience and cognitive science, is also
possible.
As noted earlier, the interface table is constructed so as to
cover both well-known and unstudied interfaces. For
example, the interface semantic information
neuroinformation
is
traditionally
studied
in
psycholinguistics by evoked potentials.
According to I.A. Sekerina, this method makes it possible
to explore the internal language structure as a mental
phenomenon generated by the brain and to observe the
reaction of perception and understanding of words and other
semantic units of the language. This method makes it
possible to observe the brains response to linguistic units of
different hierarchical levels starting with the audio or visual
recognition of letters and words [44].

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ZATSMAN

Fig. 2. Neuromedium, neurosemiotic tetrahedron, and four computer codes of its vertices.
A large number of books and papers have been devoted
to the description of neuromedium objects, but this problem
is beyond the scope of this work. In [43, 45], one can find an
extensive bibliography on problems of cognitive
neuroscience, because for many centuries people have
sought to understand the relationship between mind and
brain. However, only in our time it did become possible to
represent the real-time process of brain functioning in
computers and visualize it using the method of functional
magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
This method makes it possible to use objective indicators
of brain functioning by observing quantitative measurements
of brain activity and at the same time fixing the process of
personal subjective thinking. The results of these studies
have a wide range of practical applications (development of
lie detectors, neurocommunicators for the communication
with paralyzed patients, treatment of some diseases, etc.)
[45].
In Table 3, if i j, 10 cells of 12 contain semantic
information, digital information and/or digital data, i.e., they
are related to the domain of informatics as CIS. Cells (1,4)
and (4,1) are examined in cognitive neuroscience. Cells (2,4)
and (4,2) are also investigated in psycholinguistics. At the

same time, cells (1,2) and (2,1) also refer to the domain of
semiotics. Why does the interface table (see Table 3) include
all interfaces for objects of four media and not only
informatics interfaces?
First, the simultaneous visualization of all the interfaces
helps to define the place of informatics in the system of
modern scientific knowledge more precisely. Secondly, the
proposed method for the construction of table interfaces
helps one to predict the emergence of new interfaces not
only for information and communication but also for other
converging technologies.
The separation of the neuromedium makes it possible to
define two new terms, viz., neurosemiotic tetrahedron and
neurosquare. We call the tetrahedron with the vertices
material
object,
concept,
object
name,
and
neuroinformation neurosemiotic. The terms scope is
largely the same as that of the term psychosemiotic
tetrahedron that was introduced by F.E. Vasilyuk with the
vertices object, personal concept, object name, and sensory
fabric (which links the first three vertices)" [46].
The difference between these two tetrahedra is that the
first one describes the any concept (personal, collective, and
conventional) and the second one was defined by Vasilyuk

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A TABLE OF INTERFACES OF INFORMATICS AS COMPUTER AND INFORMATION SCIENCE

only for personal concepts. Note that in the paradigm of


informatics the sensory fabric can be attributed to one of the
classes of one-natured entities of the neuromedium.
Another term, semiotic tetrahedron, was used in 1988 by
the working group FRamework of Information System
COncepts (FRISCO) formed by the International Federation
for Information Processing (IFIP) in the process of
establishing a system of terms and conceptual foundations
for development of information systems. The results of this
work were published in a report in 1998 [47].

objects of all four media, i.e., the description of three media


shown in Fig. 1 is insufficient.
Naturally, the neuro- and digital media are required in
order to implement the interfaces neurodata digital
data and neuroinformation digital information in
neurocommunicators.
The simulation of human cognitive space also requires
the mental medium, and the socio-communicative medium is
necessary for the description of the detached visual, verbal,
and mixed modalities (forms) for representation of results of
The FRISCO group used semiotic and ontological mind activity.
approaches to describe the system of terms and system
The given formulation of the RFBR project name
development conceptual foundations. In particular, it defined illustrates the practical need to include interfaces for
the concept of the semiotic tetrahedron with the vertices neuromedium objects into the informatics domain along with
object, concept, object name, and interpreter. Its the processes for the coding of concepts of the mental
significant difference from the neurosemiotic tetrahedron is medium, words, texts, and other sign forms of knowledge
that the fourth vertex is a subject that interprets the object representation in the socio-communicative medium.
and generates the concept and object name but not the oneThe implementation of these RFBR and RScF projects
natured entity of the neuromedium [48].
shows that today information and communication
The idea of including the subject-interpreter or technologies cover the objects of the four above-mentioned
interpretant in models of both general and domain-specific media. Therefore, for a complete description of the
semiotics proved to be very productive at the time [49 informatics domain it is necessary to separate out the
51]4. However, the inclusion of subjects in semiotic models neuromedium from the material sphere of objects and
of information systems and technologies instead of one- phenomena and explore neuromedium interfaces that are
natured entities has the same drawback as the replacement of now being implemented and used for computer coding of its
these objects with organs or devices: the division of one- objects.
natured entities into classes within the medium is not
In the conclusion of this section, we note that the table of
lexically reflected.
interfaces in the form of Table 3 includes interfaces, each of
which describes the interaction of one-natured entities of
Therefore, by the definition of the neurosemiotic
only two different media, which we will call second-order
tetrahedron three of its four vertices are one-natured entities
interfaces. However, it does not include the interfaces of the
of three different media: mental, socio-communicative, and
third and fourth orders, which describe the interactions of
neuromedium. In this definition an alternative approach is
one-natured entities of more than two different media. In
used in comparison with the idea of the inclusion of the
order to represent these interfaces, it is necessary to
subject-interpreter or the interpretant in semiotic models of
construct a four-dimensional version of the interface table,
information systems and technologies.
which is a promising object of research and development but
In addition to the neurosemiotic tetrahedron, we define is beyond the scope of this paper.
the term neurosquare as a quadruple with four computer
codes (see Fig. 2)
THE DNA MEDIUM AND A TABLE OF INTERFACES
(1) C1 is for concepts of human mental knowledge.
FOR N MEDIA OF INFORMATICS
(2) C2 is both for words as object names and other sign
Is it possible to restrict ourselves today only to four
forms of knowledge representation.
media in the informatics domain? The well-known examples
(3) C3 is for coding of objects of material sphere (in the of the DNA coding of text, images, and audio recordings
general case, it is for any object as a result of the semantic give a negative answer to this question and justify the need
interpretation of which human concepts are generated).
for the separation of the DNA medium out from the material
(4) C4 is for coding of neuroinformation. The sphere of objects and phenomena.
comparison of Figs. 1 and 2 shows that the neurosquare is
The practical need for the inclusion of the DNA medium
based on the digital semiotic triangle, a detailed description in the informatics domain is due to the fact that the
of which is given in [15, 16].
possibilities of modern magnetic and optical media in terms
To illustrate Fig. 2, let us consider the name of the of data storage time are limited to decades at best, which is
above-mentioned RFBR project A study of rhythmic codes not enough, for example, in librarianship. Artificial DNA has
In this project it is necessary to describe relationships of a significantly higher recording density and longer storage
time than the magnetic and optical media, which has been
proven experimentally [52].
4
An interpreter is just a person who analyzes the object and generates
Currently, in the case of long-term planning of the
the concept and its name, while the interpretant is not necessarily a
person. In semiotics, the function of an abstract interpretant consists in development of library services, it is necessary to take into
signifying objects (creating concepts) and assigning them names [49, account new technological possibilities of book storage in
pp. 15, 16].

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10

ZATSMAN

DNA. For example, a joint research team from the European


Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) together with colleagues from
Germany and the United States has developed a technology
that makes it possible to use artificial DNA as a long-term,
reliable, and nonvolatile storage medium. Using short singlestranded DNA as a storage medium, the researchers [53]
recorded five files that contain the complete collection of
Shakespeares sonnets (using the ASCII code table), the
paper of discoverers of the DNA structure James Watson and
Francis Crick Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids (in
PDF), a color photo of the EBI building (in JPEG), a 26second MP3 file with a fragment of the Martin Luther
Kings speech I Have a Dream, and a file with Huffmans
algorithm.
Thus, the development of laboratory versions of
technologies of DNA coding of text, images, and sound
entails an increase in the number of media in the informatics
to at least five.
Let us transform Fig. 2 in order to show one-natured
entities and interfaces of the DNA medium by replacing the
neuromedium with it, i.e., let us restrict ourselves to a still
explicit representation of only four media (see Fig. 3, where
objects of the only class are shown for each medium). Then

we construct the interface table for the case of N media,


including neuro- and DNA media, and specify interfaces
with unknown objects of the medium N in the last row and
column (Table 4).
For two classes of one-natured entities of this medium,
we introduce the notation DNA data and DNA information,
and for two-natured entities on the boundaries of the DNA
medium with four other media we propose the following
provisional names: DNA-alpha, DNA-code, DNA-seme, and
neuroDNA (not shown in Fig. 3). In addition, we define two
new terms by analogy with the neurosemiotic tetrahedron
and neurosquare.
We call a tetrahedron with the vertices material object,
concept, object name, and DNA information DNA
semiotic. A DNA square is defined as a quadruple with four
computer codes. The code C4 (see Fig. 2) is replaced with
C5 to code the DNA information (see Fig. 3). In Table 4
there is a diagonal cell for the name of the medium N, which
is currently unknown and its one-natured entities. There are
also cells for their interfaces with objects of the rest of the
media of the informatics domain. In these cells, unknown
positions are marked by question marks.

Fig. 3. DNA medium, DNA-semiotic tetrahedron, and four computer codes of its vertices.

SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL INFORMATION PROCESSING Vol. 41 No. 4

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Table 4. Table of interfaces for N media of the informatics domain (without numbering of rows and columns)

Digital data mental


representations of data,
digital information
concepts (semcode)

DNA data mental


representations of data,
DNA information
concepts (DNA-seme)

DNA data senseperceived data,


DNA information
semantic information
(DNA-alpha)

DNA data digital


data,
DNA information
digital information
(DNA-code)

Neurodata mental
representations of data,
neuroinformation
concepts (neuroseme)

Neurodata senseperceived data,


neuroinformation
semantic information
(neuroalpha)

Neurodata digital Neurodata DNA


data,
data,
neuroinformation neuroinformation
digital information
DNA information
(neurocode)
(neuroDNA)

DNA-medium (DNA
data, DNA
information)

DNA data
neurodata,
DNA information
neuroinformation
(neuroDNA)

DNA data -?,


DNA information -? (?)

Neuromedium
(neurodata,
neuroinformation)

Neurodata ?,
neuroinformation ? (?)

2014

? mental
representations of data,
? concepts (?)

? sense-perceived
data
? semantic
information (?)

? digital data,
? digital
information (?)

? DNA data,
? DNA
information (?)

? neurodata,
? neuroinformation
(?)

Medium N (its one-natured


entities)

ZATSMAN

SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL INFORMATION PROCESSING Vol. 41 No. 4

Sense-perceived data
mental representations of
data,
semantic information
concepts (semiotic sign)

Mental representations of
Mental representations
Mental representations of
data sense-perceived Mental representations
of data DNA
data neurodata,
Mental representations of data
data,
of data digital data,
data,
...
concepts
?,
concepts semantic
concepts DNA
concepts digital
neuroinformation
concepts ? (?)
information (semiotic
information (semcode)
information (DNA(neuroseme)
sign)
seme)
Sense-perceived data
Sense-perceived data
Sense-perceived data
Socio-communicative
DNA data,
Sense-perceived data ?,
digital data,
neurodata,
medium (sense-perceived
semantic information
semantic information
semantic information
semantic information ?
data, semantic
DNA
(?)
digital information
neuroinformation
information);
information (DNA(formcode)
(neuroalpha)
alpha)
Digital data DNA
Digital data senseDigital data
data,
perceived data,
neurodata,
Digital medium (digital
digital information
Digital data ?,
digital information
digital information
DNA
data, digital information)
digital information ? (?)
semantic
neuroinformation
information (DNAinformation (formcode)
(neurocode)
code)

11

Mental medium (mental


representations of data,
concepts of human
knowledge)

12

ZATSMAN

It is assumed that in the medium N one-natured entities


of at least two classes will be determined. In case of the
separation of the medium N out from the material sphere of
objects and phenomena, it will be possible to theoretically
assume the interaction of objects of one of its classes with
concepts, semantic, digital, DNA, and neuroinformation,
and another with mental representations of data, senseperceived data, digital, DNA, and neurodata.
CONCLUSIONS
The interface table constructed for N media of
informatics says nothing about the interaction of objects of
different classes of the same medium.
In [25, pp. 9195], an example of a technology for
semantic information acquisition was considered based on
expert interpretation of data on a seismic profile with a
length of 60 km and a depth of 1400 m displayed on the
computer screen. These data on the screen and semantic
information created on their basis are by definition onenatured entities of the socio-communicative medium but
belong to its two different classes. It was shown that in this
example there was no direct second-order interface
between them as in the interpretation process; in addition
to these data, semantic information about the geological
boundaries and naturally experts knowledge were used.
Thus, in the considered example of information and
communication technology there is an interaction between
the following one-natured entities: the digital data on the
seismic profile, results of their visualization on the
computer screen in the form of sense-perceptual data,
concepts of the knowledge of an expert (user of the
computer), and information on geological boundaries. The
interaction of these objects allows an expert to create
semantic information based on seismic-profile data [25].
Second-order interfaces that describe the interactions of
only two one-natured entities of different media are
insufficient to describe such ICT. It is necessary to define
interfaces of higher orders for them, to the Nth inclusive,
which is beyond the scope of this paper. Table 4 is a
structured list of only second-order interfaces for objects of
N media. It contains cells for already known objects and
interfaces between them, as well as for theoretically
possible but as yet unstudied objects and undescribed
interfaces of informatics and other branches of science that
use ICT.
In terms of the classification of interfaces, the table that
was constructed in this paper is somewhat similar to the
periodic table of the chemical elements.
While the latter table establishes the dependence of the
properties of the chemical elements on their atomic
number, the table of interfaces classifies them depending
on the combination of media, which include interacting
informatics domain objects (taking the asymmetry of their
interaction in the general case into account). The cells with
questions marks and with provisional names of one- and
two-natured entities in the interface table can help one to
predict the direction of the development of not only
information and communication but also of other

converging technologies of future generations.


In conclusion, let us list the white spots in the
proposed informatics paradigm, which determine the
possible directions of its development. First, the twonatured entities for linking between mental representations
of data, sense-perceived, digital, DNA, and/or neurodata
are not identified. Secondly, in this table there are no
interfaces of the third and higher orders that link onenatured entities of different media. Thirdly, the number of
classes of one-natured entities of any medium is limited to
two (in [18, 20], two classes of objects in each medium are
described, but for some of them division into subclasses is
given).
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The work was performed by the Institute of Informatics
Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences and
partially supported the Russian Foundation for Basic
Research, project no. 14-07-00785.
The paper is based on the authors report
Preparadigmatic Stage of Informatics and a Periodic
Table of Information and Computer Science presented at
the workshop Classification of Information Sciences:
Value of General and Theoretical Informatics for Higher
Education. The workshop was held at the Moscow State
University of Geodesy and Cartography on February 21,
2014.
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Preprint. The original


publication is available at
www.springerlink.com.

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